Lawyer sues MP Salasya over alleged assault

A lawyer in Kakamega has sued Mumias East MP Peter Salasya seeking general damages for defamation of character, psychological and emotional distress and punitive and exemplary damages.

The lawyer claims the MP had attacked him verbally and physically following a case he is handling in which Mr Salasya is accused of failing to repay the Sh500,000 he borrowed after he was elected during the August 2022 general election.

This comes after the MP was ordered to appear in court on November 8, 2023 to defend himself against the debt claim in which a businessman, Robert Malenya Lutta claimed Mr Salasya failed to repay the money in two months as agreed.

Edwin Wawire Wafula, representing Mr Lutta is seeking the intervention of the court claiming the MP attacked him verbally and physically on two occasions within Kakamega town.

On October 30, 2023, Resident Magistrate Gladys Kiama asked Mr Wafula, to serve the respondent (Salasya) with the court papers summoning him to appear in court on November 8 for a hearing of the case.

But on November 2, at around 6pm, Mr Wafula claimed that Salasya insulted and threatened him while at Vovo Hotel in Kakamega town before Mr Salasya was ejected by the hotel management.

On the same date, at 8pm, the two met again at Vault Hotel, another establishment within Kakamega and the lawmaker is said to have physically attacked the lawyer but was restrained and ejected by the management of Vault Hotel.

Mr Wafula said the MP insulted him thus: “You thought I wouldn’t find you. You are a very small thing before me and you will not move out of this place until I finish up with you.”

The lawyer reported the incidents at the Kakamega police station vide OB Number 02/11/2023/90.

“The words uttered by Mr Salasya in public, in their natural meaning, depict me as conman, a stupid man, a fraudster, a satanic man and a man with no integrity. I therefore, want him to define these words before the Small Claims Court because they were not only defamatory but amount to threats,” said Mr Wafula.

He claims that the words if taken seriously by his clients, would lead them to shun his legal services and affect his source of livelihood directly.

In the earlier case at the Small Claims Court, the plaintiff, Mr Lutta said he would employ the Civil Procedure Act (Section 38) that allows the imprisonment of debt defaulters, to commit the MP to civil jail should he be found guilty of defaulting. This came after an out-of-court settlement suggested by the MP collapsed.

Mr Lutta claimed that the MP had failed to repay the Sh500,000 debt despite frequent reminders.

“We were good friends for so many years and when Mr Salasya, who was contesting for the Mumias East parliamentary seat requested me to fund his bid. I advanced him the amount on December 13 last year,” said Mr Lutta in his court papers.

On the same day, Mr Lutta made a direct transfer of Sh500,000 to Mr Salasya’s account in the Kenya Commercial Bank with the MP promising to refund the money within two months.

He asked the court to compel Salasya to refund the money, along with interest and pay the cost of the case.

Mr Lutta has attached the bank transfer details, which show the money changing accounts from his to that of the MP.

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